Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (9:07)

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From Works and 105 other releases

“Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” is a song by British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, and is featured on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). It was written by Roger Waters, and features a drum part by Nick Mason. The song was regularly performed between 1967 and 1973, and can be heard on the live record of the 1969 album Ummagumma and seen in the 1972 movie Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. It also appears on the compilation album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd, which was released in 2001.

According to an interview with David Gilmour on the 2006 documentary “Which One’s Pink?”, the song features minor guitar work both from Gilmour and Syd Barrett, making “Set The Controls” the only Pink Floyd song that features all five band members.

The song’s recording commenced in August 1967, with overdubs recorded in October of that year and in January 1968. In an article reprinted in the book Pink Floyd - through the eyes of… by Bruno McDonald, Roger Waters admitted to “borrowing” the lyrics from a book of Chinese poetry from the Tang Dynasty period (which was later identified as the book Poems of the late T’ang, translated by A.C. Graham). [1]

Some of the “borrowed” lines were written by Li He, whose poem Don’t go out the door contains the line “witness the man who raged at the wall as he wrote his question to heaven”, and Li Shangyin, whose poetry contained the lines, “watch little by little the night turn around”, “countless the twigs which tremble in dawn,” and, “one inch of love is an inch of ashes.”

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  • Hadron24

    over the mountain watching the watcher... [3]

    8 hours ago Reply
  • eye_87

    psychedelic experience

    3 Oct 1:13pm Reply
  • waltmartin

    Caught as lead-off in a three act night - capacity 350 max ; cost $3.50 entrance . ... Very focused ... Roadies hassling to position a giant gong . ... Fine night !

    27 Aug 4:13am Reply
  • Goatlordlord

    legal drug [stop fucking doing this] [2]

    20 Aug 5:13pm Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    Classic!

    9 Aug 9:16pm Reply
  • Jaina999

    legal drug [stop fucking doing this]

    18 Jul 4:42pm Reply
  • piiingu

    magical

    16 Jun 11:18pm Reply
  • guitar_gangster

    This is the only song of them featuring everyone: Syd, Nick, Richard, Gilmour and Waters, and I think that's one of the things that make this song beautiful. [2]

    29 May 5:51am Reply
  • muerto14

    legal drug [17]

    24 Apr 12:40am Reply
  • SoporAeternus-

    the heart of the sun, the heart of the sun, the heart of the sun....

    19 Mar 10:52pm Reply
  • AgentSamFisher

    over the mountain watching the watcher... [2]

    14 Feb 10:30pm Reply
  • jpzitoleopold

    damn this is great

    23 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Adriat1c

    stop glorifying drugs idiots. drugs do not create art. creativity, perseverance and ingenuity do.

    21 Aug 2013 Reply
  • bloodmaw

    legal drug [stop fucking doing this]

    17 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Angel_Blue-

    trip without LSD

    10 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Sbpl

    over the mountain watching the watcher...

    7 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Nimbie

    sounds like Joy Division, or on the contrary [2] not so Joy Division in fact but there's definitely post-punk-ish in this song and its sparse minimalism reminds me of JD too.

    20 Jun 2013 Reply
  • NathelieJulienn

    This is the only song of them featuring everyone: Syd, Nick, Richard, Gilmour and Waters, and I think that's one of the things that make this song beautiful.

    6 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Alan_Cieslar

    The Ummagumma Live Album version is the best thing ever

    7 Apr 2013 Reply
  • BigChoupique

    Came along just as the 60s was about to crash and burn : /

    1 Apr 2013 Reply
  • All 242 shouts

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